University of Portland Nursing Students Put Their Skills into Practice at Renown

Ana and Janell

Ana Lutkemuller (left) is a nursing student at the University of Portland who recently shadowed Janell Contaxis (right) at Renown Regional Medical Center on the Neurosciences unit.

Four students from the University of Portland’s School of Nursing got the chance to put their hard-earned skills to work during their preceptorship at Renown Health.

As the students make progress toward graduation, they shadowed nurses at Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown Rehabilitation Hospital for five weeks as part of a senior capstone course.

Ana Lutkemuller was one of the University’s nursing students who shadowed nurses on the Neuroscience Unit at Renown Regional. She plans to graduate in May with her Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) and her time at Renown was a great opportunity for her to experience what it’s like to be a nurse.

“I learned a lot,” she said. “Doing a capstone is a nice way to understand what it is really like to work the schedule of a nurse. It put all the skills I have acquired in the last four years into practice and I gained confidence and affirmation that this is the right path for me.”

Like most nursing students, these University of Portland students undergo at least 180 hours of in person, on the job training, known as “clinicals.” These clinicals prepare students for the real job before they graduate and before they even get the opportunity to take their licensure exams to become registered nurses (RN).

The University of Portland students at Renown got paired with an experienced nurse, known as a preceptor. The students matched the schedules of their preceptor to gain knowledge and skill about the patient populations they were serving.

“Being at Renown was a wonderful learning experience where I got to see a wide range of patients,” Ana said. “It allowed me to draw on all aspects of my nursing school experience and it was a nice bridge to being a new graduate nurse.”

With rigorous education and training requirements in place for nurses and a number of other factors like an aging “Baby Boomer” population, there is a shortage of nurses in the U.S. that is expected to grow according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections for 2014-2024.

Renown Health looks nationally for nursing talent and the University of Portland’s nursing program has the potential to bring about a partnership for the future of innovative nurses and quality care for patients.


Above all, we believe that no challenge is too large or small when it comes to making Renown Health the employer of choice for nurses in our region.

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